The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. The ADA is one of America's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life -- to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services. Modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin – and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 -- the ADA is an "equal opportunity" law for people with disabilities. Although the act was passed over 20 years ago, many businesses and organizations have yet to comply. The Law Office of Feliz A. Rael handles statewide lawsuits on behalf of persons with disabilities, who were denied access to employment, business, education, government facilities and services due to physical barriers that violate the ADA. We also have successfully challenged policies and procedures that impose unlawful limitations upon the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities.
Nursing Home Abuse
The thought of it is disturbing, but abuse of the elderly occurs all too frequently. They are some of society's most vulnerable people, but senior citizens are at perhaps their most vulnerable when their living situations make it clear that they cannot easily defend themselves. Nursing home abuse takes many forms, but all of it is damaging in some way – emotionally, physically, or financially. As the elderly population increases and the social dynamics of our society begin to favor nursing home care over in-home care, we must be ever more vigilant in protecting senior citizens from abuse.
As lawyers, we become involved in situations when harm has already occurred to nursing home residents. Of course, we would prefer that the harm not occur or that it be minimized. Often there is little we can do when a resident faces immediate danger. Where your loved one is faced with immediate harm or current abuse and neglect, other resources are more appropriate. If you suspect an adult is currently being abused, exploited, or neglected at a nursing home, make a report to: Department of Health Reporting Hotline 1-800-752-8649
In addition, the New Mexico Aging and Long Term Services Department has an Ombudsman Program of volunteers who visit nursing homes and other long-term care facilities on a regular basis to assure that residents are receiving the care they deserve. New Mexico Long Term Care Ombudsman: toll-free 866-842-9230
Understanding types of nursing home abuse may go a long way to preventing it in our society, or at the very least protecting your loved ones from suffering its consequences.
Accidents that are caused by defective or dangerous property, either inside or outside a building, are called "premises liability" accidents. These accidents can take place at commercial buildings (stores or offices), residences (private homes or rentals), or on public property (parks, streets, or public transportation). Premises can be dangerous for many reasons -- faulty design, shoddy construction or building materials, poor maintenance, or dangerous clutter. Dangerous premises can lead to devastating personal injuries. The owner or occupier of property has a legal duty to anyone who enters the property -- as a tenant, a shopper, or a personal or business visitor -- not to subject that person to an unreasonable risk of injury because of the design, construction, or condition of the property. The owner has control over the safety of the premises and the visitor does not.